Give it a try if… You want to impress a food-unconscious date.
Steer clear if… You care about the taste way more than the decor.
This rather well-known place, located in the Ribera area (Borne) inside a 14th century palace, is actually a hybrid; one entrance leads to a fashion/weird stuff store, the other to the restaurant. The latter flaunts a stylish decor with brick walls, columns, plants, even a glass dome up above. From the moment we were greeted and escorted to our table we were offered a level of service that, despite smelling a bit fake, was certainly appreciated. The menu itself was mouth-watering, mixing classic Catalan dishes with international proposals.
All About the Packaging?
Why, then, did the salmon tartar taste like it had just come out of the freezer? Did the cod in the salad ever swim in the sea? Not to mention the nail-sized veal fillet… Apparently Barcelona’s chefs are proud to serve the smallest chunk of meat they are able to cut, so I wasn’t surprised – but the taste, the texture and the supposedly delicious mushroom sauce did not make any dent in my universe.
As I kept eating with a flat pulse, the sophisticated setting started feeling a bit pointless. If you are willing to make 90% of the effort, why not go all the way and offer a truly unique dining experience? I guess it wasn’t by accident that my friends and I did not exchange a single word about the food during the whole dinner – and it was a shame, because we did want to love the place. Maybe it was just the wrong night (Monday); maybe it was me… But at least for the moment, I’ll have to group Café de la Princesa with the countless BCN restaurants which promise a lot, but somehow fall short in the delivery department. I’d say: try it once, and see what you think.
UPS score (Utmost Perfection Scale): 7/10